Support your super at every stage of lifeDec 02, 2022
Using major life milestones can be a great way to seize opportunities to support your superannuation. Super fund Australian Retirement Trust, who partnered with Ladies Finance Club for their recent national roadshow, explains how actions you consider taking now may make a big difference to how much money you end up with in retirement.
Major events in your life may be a time to take stock about your direction and priorities. They can also be used as opportunities to make a significant impact on your future.
This milestone action list contains simple steps you can take at major moments in your life to help ensure your super is working as hard as you do.
💼 If you start a new job
A trend for greater job mobility suggests a “job for life” is becoming less of a reality in Australia(footnote #1). If you are starting a new job, support your super by considering these key actions:
There is about $14 billion in lost and unclaimed super across Australia, according to the Australian Tax Office(footnote #2) . About $2 billion of that is in Queensland alone. It is easy to check whether some of that belongs to you.
Moving all your super into one account may make it easier to manage your retirement savings and help you pay fewer fees. Before you consolidate your super, you should check with your other super funds about loss of insurance or other benefits.
3. Review your investment options
How you choose to invest your money will probably change over time, especially as you get closer to retirement when you may want a more stable option for greater certainty over your future finances. Take this opportunity to consider the mix of each asset class that best suits your circumstances.
4. Consider boosting your super by salary sacrificing
Salary sacrificing means that some of your salary that would usually go to your regular pay packet is diverted to your super instead. If your marginal tax rate is greater than 15%, there are also some smart tax reasons for sacrificing some of your salary to super. Use the salary sacrifice calculator to see what this may mean for you.
💍If you get married
Getting married is an exciting time. It also means that whatever happens to you financially may directly affect your partner. So talking about money, such as how you can grow your super together, may be important at this time.
If you are getting married, you can step into this new phase with these key actions:
1. Update your personal details
If you are changing your name due to marriage, don’t forget to update your contact details. For Australian Retirement Trust members it’s as simple as going through Member Online or calling us on 13 11 84.
Does your super beneficiary reflect your updated relationship status? Your super doesn’t automatically form part of your estate, and it can’t be included in your will. So, it’s important to decide who will receive your super.
Make sure your insurance cover reflects your new status and needs as a couple. Do you know how much insurance cover you and your partner have? Try our Insurance Needs Calculator to help work out how much insurance you may need.
4. Learn about splitting super contributions
You may wish to even out how much super each of you have and possibly take advantage of some tax benefits while you’re doing it. One option is contribution splitting, which lets you split any eligible contributions you made in the previous financial year and transfer some of them to your spouse’s super.
🍼If you have a baby
Becoming a parent is an amazing milestone. If you are having a baby, you may consider these simple steps for your super:
1. Reassess your life insurance
Secure peace of mind that if anything happens to you, your new expanded household will be looked after. Try our Insurance Needs calculator to help you estimate the level of cover you might need.
2. Research spouse contributions
If you are taking leave from work or cutting back on work hours to take care of a baby, it may be worth discussing spouse contributions with your partner. This may be a way to help minimise the impact on a stay-at-home parent’s long-term retirement savings. If you are the one making the contributions, investigate the potential tax benefits of adding money to your spouse’s super.
3. Access the government super co-contribution
If you earn less than a certain amount, you may be able to take advantage of the government super co-contribution. By making personal (after-tax) contributions to your super fund, you may be eligible for the government to chip in a contribution of up to $500 paid into your super fund, which is effectively money for nothing.
4. Should you make your baby a beneficiary?
Because super doesn’t automatically form part of your estate and it can’t be included in your will, you may want to consider who you have nominated as beneficiary on your super.
💔If you separate
It’s not a pleasant milestone, but getting your super sorted soon after your relationship ends is an important step in planning for your future.
If you are separating or getting divorced, here’s four key steps to take:
1. Consider you options with your super
Once you separate or get divorced, super is treated as a type of property and can be divided by agreement or by court order. You may wish to access legal advice on how super is treated in a financial settlement.
2. Update your contact details
If you change your address, update your superannuation account contact details. For Australian Retirement Trust members it’s as simple as going through Member Online or calling us on 13 11 84.
3. Update your identity
If your divorce or separation requires a name change, you can provide your super fund with certified identification in your current name and a certified copy of a document that supports your name change, such as:
- marriage certificate
- deed poll
- change of name certificate from the Births, Deaths and Marriages registration office.
4. Review your Enduring Power of Attorney and any other authority
Check your Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) that gives someone else the power to make personal or financial decisions on your behalf while you are still alive.
You may also want to withdraw any Authority to Release Information that may allow your super information to be released to your former partner.
👴🏻🧓🏻 If you plan to retire
Whether you prefer to slow down gradually before you stop work altogether, or are looking forward to a clean break, consider these key steps before you retire:
1. Know how much money is enough to retire
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia(footnote #3) has crunched the numbers to help show you what retirement may cost. You can also use a Retirement Income Calculator to see what super balance you’re tracking towards, and what income that balance will likely give you.
2. Consider transitioning to retirement
In superannuation terms, considering transition to retirement means accessing your super while you are still working and drawing an income stream to supplement a salary.
3. Know the latest rules
Brush up on new rules that may apply to your super and retirement, such as contributions to super from downsizing your home.
4. Have a plan
Have a plan to help you achieve the lifestyle you are hoping for when you finish working. Financial advice may help you save money right now, build a better retirement and make the most of your life after work. Have the confidence of working with a financial adviser(footnote #4) to put your retirement plan in place.
Super Insider podcast
Learn more about super from those in the know at Australian Retirement Trust through their Super Insider podcast.
- 1. Wilkins, R and Lass, I, 2018, The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey: Selected Findings from Waves 1 to 16. Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research, University of Melbourne.
- ATO, Lost and Unclaimed Super, accessed 11 October 2022 at https://www.ato.gov.au/about-ato/research-and-statistics/in-detail/super-statistics/super-accounts-data/lost-and-unclaimed-super-by-postcode/
- ASFA, Retirement Standard 2022, accessed 11 October 2022 at www.superannuation.asn.au/resources/retirement-standard
- Advice fees may apply. Refer to the Financial Services Guide (pdf) for more information.
This information and all QSuper products are issued by Australian Retirement Trust Pty Ltd (ABN 88 010 720 840, AFSL 228975) as trustee for Australian Retirement Trust (ABN 60 905 115 063). Any reference to "QSuper" is a reference to the Government Division of Australian Retirement Trust. This is general information only, so it does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation, or needs. Before acquiring or continuing to hold any financial product, you should consider whether the product is right for you by reading the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS). The PDS and Target Market Determination for QSuper products are available at qsuper.qld.gov.au or call us on 1300 360 750 to request a copy. Where necessary, consider seeking professional advice tailored to your individual circumstances.